Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Travel Deduction Gets Bumped

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Travel Deduction Gets Bumped

Article excerpt

The Tax Court recently held that an airline mechanic could not deduct travel expenses while working in a city to which he was transferred by his employer, even though he hoped to return to his city of residence. The court concluded the mechanic was not "away from home" as required by IRC [section] 162(a)(2).

Travel expenses are deductible when taxpayers duplicate their living expenses because they are temporarily away from home because of their trade or business. For this purpose, "home" is the taxpayer's principal place of employment, not his or her personal residence. Travel expenses related to out-of-town work assignments of an indefinite period--those exceeding a year--are nondeductible. Out-of-town work assignments of a year or less can be classified as either temporary (deductible) or indefinite (nondeductible), as determined by the facts of each situation.

Stanley Wasik was an airline mechanic for Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis. He and other Northwest mechanics were allowed to accept a layoff or take the position of a mechanic with less seniority in another city, "bumping" the other mechanic. …

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